Saturday, October 9th was the first hot day after a week of mizzly (misty/drizzly) weather. The sun had come out, but still, the anticipation of the exhibition turn-out was clouded by my relentless effort and unrest to ensure there would even be a show to see! It was with the selfless aid of many supportive and dedicated friends and piers that made it possible for the former Blue Cafe to transform – in 7 days – into a decent, neutral space to display the works of 16 CSULB artists.
Within 10 minutes of opening the doors of The DownCrowd Gallery Exhibition: SPOKE UP, there was a constant flow of two-wheel traffic spilling from the Downtown Long Beach (Second Saturday) Art Walk. LONGBEACHIZE came through with the valet bike parking, I somehow found time to craft the collapsible bike stands myself, which worked out great for us; we were happy to securely park over 40 bikes during the event! There were motion graphic videos visible from The Promenade playing all night, created by graphic designer, Patrick Dougherty, and LONGBEACHIZE Co-Founder/Director and Graphic Designer, Baktaash Sorkhabi. MFA student, Christian Ward, made personal bike tire prints for the duration of the opening night, and Trevor Joffee kept the gallery-stroll rollin’ smooth with vinyl jams of the late 80’s-early 90’s. The chalkboard wall in the back of the gallery was tagged from floor to ceiling with you name it: Happy Birthday wishes to John Lennon, motivational phrases, doodles, shout-outs, and obscenities galore. The vibe: hyped.
I was happily bombarded with new acquaintances I only wish I had more time to speak with further. Members of local bike organizations such as Long Beach Cyclists, The Pedal Movement, The Bicycle Hub, Jax Bicycle Center and many others stopped in to show their support and express their interest and impressions of LONGBEACHIZE thusfar.
Though the exhibition was set to cease at ten PM we finally managed to roll everyone out nearer to eleven PM when the exit dub was spun. The crowd was impressive, the bikes were even more. I was humbled and thrilled to have so many like-minded individuals, as well as fresh new faces, make it out to the event. The goal of this DownCrowd Exhibition was networking, new Downtown exposure, and LB promotion. This event accomplished these goals on multiple levels.
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